Jeff Pitman's S45 recaps
Jeff Pitman's Survivor 45 recaps
Survivor 45 Recaps/ analysis

Everybody here has a story

Episode 13: Everybody here has a story

Published: December 23, 2023

With its action now complete, Survivor 45 stands as easily the best New Era season, and perhaps one of the best-told season stories thus far. A review of the story and strong characters that 90-minute episodes enabled, plus a few things that could still be improved about the new era game.

A plethora of foreshadowing

Episode 11: A plethora of foreshadowing

Published: December 9, 2023

Episode 11 of Survivor 45's big idol play took out a huge fan favorite player. It was a shocking, disappointing outcome, but one that rewatching reveals was pretty heavily hinted at throughout the episode. Preparing the audience to have their dreams crushed, whether from the title ("This Game Rips Your Heart Out" - also from the newest juror), or by the storytelling of the episode, is always a nice way to soften the blow.

Some light prognostication

Episodes 9-10: Some light prognostication

Published: December 2, 2023

With just three episodes left in the season, Survivor 45 finally hit that beloved new era milestone (after three landmine-filled weeks) where it was finally normal, standard, post-merge Survivor in Episode 10. You know, the "real game," as the players call it. It was refreshing and welcome. How might the game proceed now?

Give and take, and take

Episode 8: Give and take, and take

Published: November 19, 2023

With Episode 8 of Survivor 45, fans were given back a popular staple of the show, the auction. But it was an auction filtered through the claws of Jeff Probst's two favorite things: Rock draws and taking people's votes away. Yes, it produced a big blindside that appears to have altered the balance of power. But was it worth it to have a rock draw decide that fate?

The hangover after the home run

Episode 7: The hangover after the home run

Published: November 11, 2023

After the exhilarating heights reached in last week's miraculous moment of Kaleb saving himself with a Shot in the Dark, Episode 7 of Survivor 45 was darker, more somber, as it became clear this big moment was not going to pay off into a longer-term run for Kaleb. Part of the reason for that is that we didn't have a full merge vote yet, but instead are still fumbling around through artificial barriers brought on by rock draws.

Survivor hits a home run and the lotto

Episode 6: Survivor hits a home run and the lotto

Published: November 4, 2023

Survivor 45's ("earn the") merge episode had dramatic highs and lows, but none bigger than Kaleb's saving himself with the Shot in the Dark. After four-and-a-half long seasons of trying, the long-shot hecto-idol finally worked as advertised, and Kaleb set a record for the most votes voided on a single play in the process. A game-saving home run for Kaleb, a lottery win for the show and for the audience.

So long three tribes, hello one beach

Episode 5: So long three tribes, hello one beach

Published: October 28, 2023

As the pre-merge(atory) portion of the game closes out, Survivor 45 has thus far flourished with its additional time, giving the audience a much deeper connection to the players and the game, one that had recently been missing, especially in the twist- and advantage-heavy "new era."

Better stories, better choices, confusing rules

Episodes 3-4: Better stories, better choices, confusing rules

Published: October 23, 2023

Episodes 3 and 4 of Survivor 45 fleshed out the different idol-hiding mechanisms in the various camps and revealed a new twist, but raised more questions in the process. In the meantime, the new era at last has a regular tribe swap, and it creates some exciting strategic possibilities on the new tribes.

Sometimes more is more

Episodes 1-2: Sometimes more is more

Published: October 9, 2023

In a surprising comeback, Survivor 45 is proving that the new era game, despite its predictable series of roadblocks, is far more enjoyable for audiences when there's more of it. With 90-minute episodes now the new standard length, there's finally time for the audience to connect with what had previously been missing: The players, and their relationships with each other.

Jeff Pitman's recapsJeff Pitman is the founder of the True Dork Times, and probably should find better things to write about than Survivor. So far he hasn't, though. He's also responsible for the Survivometer, calendar, boxscores, and contestant pages, so if you want to complain about those, do so in the comments, or on twitter: @truedorktimes